The last time I heard that an apology given under duress
was valid, was in the Monty Python' comedy sketch on the
Spanish Inquisition. Everytime anyone said Spanish
Inquisition, then 3 red cardinals turned up to
What do I have in comon with a Texas cattle baron?
He thinks that he is a bigger liar than I am.
I think I am.
What does a drill sargeant have in comon with a
chinese warlord? He says that the sun will not rise
tomorrow. His men believe it.
What is the difference between a Texas cattle baron and
a chinese warlord? The one knows he is lying. The other
has never had the problem.
Big Bertha Thing adversity
Milton (1644) from The Liberty of Unlicensed Printing.
First, when a city shall be as it were besieged and blocked
about, her navigable river infested, inroads and incursions
round, defiance and battle oft rumoured to be marching up
even to her walls and suburb trenches; that then the people,
or the greater part, more than at other times, wholly taken
up with the study of the highest and most important matters
to be reformed, should be disputing, reasoning, reading,
inventing, discourcing, even to a rarity and admiration,
things not before discourced or written of, argues first
a singular good will, contentedness and confidence in your
prudent forsight, and safe government, Lords and Commons;
and from thence derives itself to a gallant bravery and
well-grounded contempt of their enemies, as if there were
no small number of as great spirits among us, as his was,
who when Rome was nigh besieged by Hannibal, being in the
city, bought that piece of ground at no cheap rate whereon
Hannibal himself encamped his own regiment. Next, it is a
lively and cheerful presage of our happy success and victory.
For as in a body, when the blod is fresh, the spirits pure
and vigorous, not only to vital, but to rational faculties,
and those in the acutes and the pertest operations of wit
and subtilty, it argues in what good plight and
constitution the body is; so when the cheerfulness of the
people is so sprightly up, as it has not only wherewith to
guard well its own freedom and safety, but to spare, and to
bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of contyroversy,
and new invention, it betokens us not degenerated, nor
drooping to a fatal decay, by casting off the old and
wrinkled skin of corruption to outlive these pangs, and wax
young again, entering the glorious ways of truth and
prosperous virtue, destined to become great and honourable
in these latter ages. Methinks I see in my mind a noble and
puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep,
and shaking her inincible locks; methinks I see her as an
eagle nursing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled
eyes at the full mid-day beam; purging and unscaling her
long-abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly
radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking
birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about
amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would
prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.
Big Bertha Thing liberty
Milton (1644) from The Liberty of Unlicensed Printing
What should ye do then, should ye suppress all this
flowery crop of knowledge and new light sprung up and
yet springing daily in this city? Should ye set an
oligarchy of twenty engrossers over it, to bring a
famine upon our minds again, when we shall know
nothing but what is measured to us by their bushell?
Believe it, Lords and Commons! they who counsel you to
such a suppression, do as good as bid ye suppress
yourselves; and I will soon show how. If it be desired
to know the immediate cause of all this free writing
and free speaking, there cannot be assigned a truer
than your own mild, and free, and humane government:
it is the liberty, Lords and Commons, which your own
valorous and happy counsels have purchased us; liberty,
which is the nurse of all great wits; this is that which
hath rarified and enlightened our spirits like the
influence of heaven; this is that which hath
enfranchised, enlarged, and lifted up our
apprehensions degrees above themselves. Ye cannot make
us now less capable, less knowing, less eagerly
pursuing of the truth, unless ye first make yourselves,
that made us so, less the lovers, less the founders of
our true liberty. We can grow ignorant again, brutish,
formal, slavish, as ye found us; but you then must first
become that which ye cannot be, oppressive, arbitrary,
and tyrannous, as they were from whom ye have freed us.
That our hearts are now more capacious, our thoughts more
erected to the search and expectations of greatest and
exactest things, is the issue of your own virtue
propagated in us; ye cannot suppress that, unless ye
reinforce an abrogated and merciless law, that fathers
may despatch at will their own children. And who shall
then stick closest to ye, and excite others? not he
who takes up arms for coat and conduct, and his four
nobles of Dangelt. Although I dispraise not the defence
of just immunities, yet love my peace better, if that
were all. Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to
argue freely, according to conscience, above all
Big Bertha Thing indomitable
(1938) about biography of Lord Grey of Falloden
Lord Grey of Falloden sprang from a Northumberland
family of country squires, who for generations had
played a part in public affairs. His own pleasures
lay in the country, but his sense of duty drove him
into politics. He was happiest fishing for trout,
and watching wild birds, but once he was a member of
parliament his abilities and character won for him
a prominence that gave him little time for such
From 1905 to 1916 Lord Grey was Foreign Secretary.
It is strange that the man whose heart was never
entirely in politics should have risen to such a
high office, should have held it so long, and in
such crucial years.
It is possible to consider Lord Grey's life as a
failure. His sense of duty prevented him from living
the life he loved. His efforts to preserve the peace
of Europe suffered the defeat of August 1914, that
darkened the rest of his life. He sacrificed his
eyesight in his wartime service in the government.
When at last release came, and he returned to his
birds and books, he could no longer see them.
Domestic griefs beset him. Yet as our extract from
his biography shows, from this tragic material his
serene and strong nature won a greatness that is an
inspiration and splendid example.(Two extracts follow)
He was equally cut off from books, of which as life
advanced he had grown scarcely less fond.
I classify the different parts of my body as being
of different ages, as thus:
Sense of smell aged 99 years
Sense of Hearing 56 (My age)
Heart and lungs 45
It makes an unequal team to get along with.